Archives for July 2020

The “Way of Life”!

For the past few weeks I’ve attempted to sway away from writing about COVID19.

However, at the request of clients and the difficulty to ignore the affects it is having on our industry…it’s hard not to.

I’m finding in all my conversations with my clients, everyone has a story as to the effect COVID has on them.

Our Industry will never be the same. It goes way beyond what the new norm is. What we are dealing with  is anew “way of life”.

In my opinion, the new norm is social distancing, wearing mask and hand washing more than we ever have.

The difference between this and “a way of life” is when we begin to accept what is dictated about our Business based on the people who are uneducated about our Business dictating what we have to do.

As crazy as that sounds, it is THAT crazy.

I can’t honestly say that I believe everything I hear about this pandemic.  I can’t honestly say that I don’t believe everything I hear about this pandemic.

What I do know, is something Is happening. And, if wearing a mask and washing my hands a hundred times a day means there’s any chance at all this “thing” can go away…then I do it.

I’m all for working together for a safe world.

What I have a difficult time standing behind is closing our Businesses, restricting our Businesses and expecting a Business like ours to work “outside”.  Yes, you heard me. The State of California has mandated our Salons to work outside, under a tent. Shielded from the sun, with a fan to keep ourselves and our clients cool.  Whaaaat?????

I’ve been thinking a lot about these Businesses in California and how?  Not just how but why?  Not just how and why but who on earth came up with this idea?

I just can’t even wrap my brain around the logic to this.  We are going to mandate our Salons to work outside a strictly sanitized environment to work in an environment of heat, possibly no air circulation, or maybe a fan blowing dust from the earth onto our work surfaces, ourselves and our clients. Let’s not forget the joy of wearing a mask while performing services in the heat of summer (it is July, almost August) AND our clothes and apron or smock etc etc. In addition, I’m sure there are weather variations from day to day.

Again, I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

As I’m thinking about this and planning how to put it down on paper, I’m at my parents house preparing them for a move after 44 years of being in the same place.

I’m taking pictures, clearing closets and attempting to discard anything not of value. I’m noticing so many things that just make me shake my head. I see a clothes hanger made into a hook. I see a painted piece of board attached to a screen door which broke, I see wastebaskets made out of old wood…the list goes on and on. My Dad was ingenious. He repaired everything himself. In fact, we talked about how many times they actually had someone they paid to come into the house and repair anything……”twice”.  This is twice in their 69 years of marriage.

When I talk with my Dad about this, he is so matter of factly. They didn’t have the money. This was a “way of life” for them. In fact, it has been like pulling teeth to convince them to hire someone to manage their pool or mow their yard. NEVER in a million years could they ever think about it. Cmon….my Dad is 91 and my Mom is 88.

It was their generation that did not waste. It was their generation that saved everything they got, because it was hard work to earn the money they got. It was their generation that fixed everything themselves. Mom sewed our clothes, curtains, blankets…..everything. They didn’t just go out and buy on a whim. It was their “way of life”

In fact, Dad left school in 6th grade to go to work to help support his family and Mom never graduated so she could get a job that became available.

This brings me back to 2020, COVID 19 and our California Salons working outside.

We have to do what we need to do to survive. I’m not saying any of this is right, but this is it. This is our “way of life”. We either do, or we don’t. If we don’t, we don’t survive.

Let’s look at this though and try to break down how working outside is really the answer. We may be talking about California now….what if this law extends to other States?

The California rules state;

  • Electrology, tattooing, and piercing services must not be provided in the outdoor setting because they are invasive procedures that require a controlled hygienic environment to be performed safely.
    • Excuse me. Don’t we as Nail Tech’s and Hair Stylist have rules by the Department of Regulation that states our environment has to be hygienic and properly sanitized?
  • This guidance is intended to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.
    • Exactly, what is safe and clean about working in an outdoor environment?
    • Salons should not perform a service that would require a customer to have to enter the establishment.
      • For real? Does this mean no hand washing and no restroom availability?

    Here’s my absolute favorite…

    • Establish an effective heat illness prevention plan with written procedures. See the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention page for resources, including FAQs, a webinar, and a sample written plan. Elements of a heat illness prevent plan include:o Access to water
      o Access to shade
      o Cool down breaks
      o Emergency procedures for heat illness cases
      o Monitoring of employees who are acclimatizing during a heat waveo Training on heat illness prevention and symptoms

    WOW – WOW – WOW

    In addition…

    • Rewiring and the use of electrical extension cords can increase the likelihood of electrical hazards, including fire and electrocution. Ensure that outdoor operations comply with Cal/OSHA and all code requirements. SeeCal/OSHA’s Guide to Electrical Safety for more information.
    • Ensure there are no tripping hazards from cords or other equipment in outdoor work areas.
    • Use shade or other skin protection when not under shade.


    • If fans, such as pedestal fans or hard-mounted fans, are used in the outside salon, take steps to minimize air from fans blowing directly from one person toward another. If fans are disabled or removed, employers should remain aware of possible heat hazards and take steps to mitigate them

    Our California Salons are basically required to set up a whole new shop. What happens next? Another State Department inspector comes to our Businesses and inspects for cords which are hazards, fans which blow in our face etc. etc.

    Again…WOW WOW WOW

    What would I do?

    • First thing I would do is write a letter to the idiot who thought working outside was a good idea.
    • 2nd thing I would do, is put my anger and dis-belief behind me
    • 3rd thing I would do, is adjust fire.

    We are in a wait and see, day by day lifestyle. We are sitting on the edge of our seats awaiting the next doom and gloom news and waiting for our Government to tell us what we need to do. The reality is….they don’t even know.

    What I do know is we as an Industry have to make this work. Our clients depend on us. Our families depend on us and we need our income to survive.

    How do we make this work?

    I guess if we will have to adjust fire and survive, we need to figure out a way to make this work.

    Besides all the obvious things like having a covering and a portable pedicure bowl, maybe we can make it a little fun?

    • Fill a cooler with ice. Offer mini bottles of anything from water to mini bottles of wine.
    • Provide a water mister….better than a fan blowing dust all over the place and feels so much better
    • Play some outdoor theme music. Jimmy Buffet or reggae
    • Offer cleansing wipes like our Footlogix wipes. Keep them in the heat, they actually feel wonderful

    Don’t forget though;

    • Allow more time for set up
    • Allow more time for cleaning between clients
    • Notify your clients, especially your geriatric clientele
    • Consider altering your services. Working in the heat is going to take its toll. You may have to adjust what you do or don’t do
    • You will need to charge accordingly, should you add or have to purchase additional items to accommodate the rules. However, instead of a price increase, make it a “temporary” COVID fee. When you are allowed to get back indoors, you can take the additional fee away

    I am so sorry this is happening to our friends in California. We can only hope and pray this all passes soon and we can back some normal “way of life” in doing what we all love to do.

    Keep in mind though, this may be California. However, if this pandemic continues as they say it is, more changes are on the way for all of us.

    As I said in my very first COVID blog. WE as an industry must prove that we can work and be safe at the same time. Follow the rules;

    • Ask your clients the questions and make them complete the required COVID 19 entry into your Salon forms
    • Sanitize better than you ever have. Centre For Beauty has everything you need to keep you and your client and your entire environment safe from top to bottom.
    • Wear a mask. Whether it helps or not….wearing a mask is NOT the end of the world.
    • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands….and make sure your clients do as well. They should wash when they arrive and wash when they leave.
    • Don’t forget…polish bottles, retail, reception, kitchen….it all has to be sanitized.
    • Be Safe!

    CJ Murray, President Centre For Beauty

    CJ Murray
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      Pedicuring the Diabetic client!

      I don’t know, call me skeptical. I highly respect those in our field who have gone the extra mile in getting educated on how to care for the feet of the geriatric diabetic client.

      However, I’m not sure anymore, if this is an actual niche or not.

      Yes, diabetes is on the rise. Yet….is it on the rise the way you think it is?

      2020 statistics from the National Diabetes association states;

      • 34.2 million Americans (1 in 10) have diabetes
      • 88 million American adults (1 in 3) have “prediabetes”
      • New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin


      • In adults, new cases significantly decreased from 2008 through 2018
      • New diagnosed cases of type 1 and 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youths

      If we pay attention to these stats, shouldn’t we be also paying attention to our diabetic youth?

      After all, prevention is the best medicine.


      I’ve taken all the courses imaginable on how to care for the diabetic client. All of these courses however, target the “geriatric client” as our diabetic client.

      I’ve learned a lot.

      • Don’t soak the feet of the diabetic client
      • Don’t cut the skin of the diabetic client
      • Don’t use products which suffocate the skin
      • Don’t don’t don’t…..are there ever any do’s?

      After all, don’t you think your diabetic client needs to be pampered and glamorized as your everyday client? And, don’t you think not “all” diabetic clients are created equal?

      Of course their not and that’s my problem. When we learn about the diabetic client, it is always generalized.

      Before I can get to my point…..let’s look at the facts!


      What is diabetes?

      Diabetes is a chronic or long lasting health condition which affects how our bodies turn food into energy.

      There are 3 types of diabetes!

      • Type 1 – is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops our body from making insulin. At this time, there is no known cure to prevent type 1 diabetes. type 1 is an every day maintenance concern.
      • Type 2 – Our body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. A healthy life style can prevent type 2 diabetes and regular checks of your blood sugar can help you catch it early.
      • Gestational – Pregnant women who have never had diabetes.
      • Prediabetes – In the United States, 1 in 3—have prediabetes. What’s more, more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

      With any of the above, shouldn’t we be focusing on more than just the geriatric client and what we learn in regard to diabetes with that age group?

      Shouldn’t we know;

      • How to manage the up and coming younger generation with a higher risk for diabetes….already higher than the geriatric client.
      • How to make our recommendations for at home care, what to do and NOT?
      • How to perform the perfect consultation, making sure you ask the right questions and mark your charts like a Dr. would?
      • There is so much more!

      We also have to remember…just because we became certified in “master pedicuring” and we had 1-4 hr class on Diabetes. It doesn’t make you the expert.  It barely touches the surface.

      Flaunt your credentials.  Absolutely. You should be proud. You took a great class, had to cancel your clients, take days off of work, probably travel…not to mention the $$$$..You should be proud.

      Just don’t be fooled. You may think 1, maybe 5, or even 10 classes makes you the expert. It doesn’t. Education is a lifelong commitment.

      Think about it and think about how you have shut off a whole market of diabetics.

      Yet, think of how you can recover, make the changes and expand into the new abyss.

      Do you still want to pursue the geriatric client? No biggie. Stay mainly focused on that market, or attack them all. Whichever you feel most comfortable.

      So when it comes to Pedicuring the Diabetic Client…..

      • Modify

      Also, don’t forget all those soon to be Moms…..Gestational Diabetes is real!

      The sad part about focusing on only 1 age generation is the missed opportunity you have to change someones life.

      With your education, you can help a young person begin proper care for his or her health to prevent diabetes from getting worse. You can share your knowledge, make your recommendations for at home care and end up with a client for a very long life.

      How can diabetes affect our feet?

      • Nerve damage can lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold.
      • If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, or sore, or that water is too hot. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early.
      • Poor circulation (another diabetes complication) along with nerve damage puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well.
      • If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading.

      What do you need to know?

      • Check feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, corns, calluses, or blisters.
      • Wash  feet in warm—not hot—water, and dry them well.
      • Trim  toenails straight across and file the edges.
      • Wear shoes that fit well. Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them 1 to 2 hours each day until they’re comfortable.
      • Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes or slippers, even inside, to protect your feet.
      • Put your feet up when you’re sitting and wiggle your toes for a few minutes.
      • Get your feet checked at every health care visit, and see your foot doctor every year (more often if you have nerve damage).

      CJ Murray

      CJ Murray
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        Switching gears!

        I started on a totally different path for my article this week.  I planned on covering the topic of total sanitation.  However after showcasing at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies this weekend, I found it necessary to change topics.

        A very dear friend of mine, retired colonel with the Air Force had a saying….”you just have to adjust fire”.

        I totally understood what he meant way back when, however…after this weekend at the Gatlinburg show, I appreciate it even more.

        After several very unsettling days of deciding whether to participate in the show which I already committed too, my final decision was 100% based on loyalty to the those who committed to attending the show.

        I felt if they were brave enough to support us as vendors, we should be brave enough showcase.

        So, after careful consideration we decided to support our initial decision.


        We adjusted many things.  We cancelled all our help, reduced the amount of products we typically would take, wore our mask, cleansed our hands often and opted not to do demos.

        Understand, demo’s are our key to  success. We know and have proven showing our products and how effective they are is our success at our trade shows.

        We “adjusted fire”.

        The show was a success.  We estimated 1/2 the attendees than last year.  And, because there were many less Vendors, the attendees went through the venue in record time. This left many void moments and many technicians leaving early because they completed what they came for.

        In the end though, we were not disappointed.

        This whole surreal experience of wearing mask was very uncomfortable.  As humorous as it sounds, wearing a mask I couldn’t see straight, breath properly nor hear as sharp as usual. My glasses fogged up constantly and I felt I was in tunnel vision the whole time I was there.

        We did survive the torture, however, it truly wasn’t easy….

        This experience made me think of the future and what would future trade shows be like? What can we do, as a Distributor and representative of the brands we carry to offer the full benefit our trade show attendees are used to.

        I told my husband….we just need to “adjust fire”

        In Business many things happen. We have to learn to adapt to the changes and continue to keep our Businesses successful and our clients happy.

        In our case, giving the attendees the value they hope for, is of utmost important.

        How we do this…..we need to be creative.

        This brings me back to a a previous blog.  Creativity is our survival mode. Being creative and offering the same quality service that our clients are accustomed to, is a huge part of success.

        Stepping out of the box and “adjusting fire” to our new environment is exactly what will keep us alive.


        For me, not being able to offer demo’s is huge. It’s important for me to show my clients how effective our products are and how they can benefit them in the salon.

        My creative answer is virtual demonstrations.

        Being able to offer that visual via a television is my answer.

        It will cost more money, More equipment and more time in set-up, however…it will offer our attendees a full view of what they are considering. For me this is huge.

        This new reality is testing us all.  It’s testing our patience, our perseverance and our ability to “adjust fire”

        Are you capable?

        Where does this “adjusting fire” fit in with your Salon?

        In speaking with many Technicians on a daily basis, the story is all the same. Finding a way to accommodate the need for Business yet the need to keep themselves, their team and their clients safe.

        I’ve heard stories of anger over clients having to wear a mask. I’ve heard stories of concern from Technicians who work for Salons which they don’t feel are taking enough necessary precautions. I’ve heard stories of clients, Technicians AND Owners who are truly clueless.

        I believe this will get better. I don’t necessarily believe things will ever get back to the way they were.

        I believe we will be living in constant fear for a long time. Whether it be fear from our Media, other peoples opinions or our own personal fear.

        I believe we have to learn to live with this new reality and EVERYONE has to participate.

        My conclusion with all that is happening around us is there is a message for all of us to receive. The message may be global, it for sure is always personal.

        When it comes to our Salon environment we have to realize the days of yesteryear are over, and I believe the message for us is clear;

        • Be safe.…if you thought you practiced proper sanitary procedure….review them.
          • Know your brands, what they do, how they work.
        • Slow down….we so often don’t know how to say no. We work back to back clients, 5-6 days a week and we let our clients take advantage of our generosity.
          • Leave time between clients, stop working more hours than you spend with your family.
        • Appreciate….look around you. Be thankful for what you have and be thankful for the opportunity to get better at what you do.
        • Be kind….everyone is under stress. Understand someone elses stress is NOT the same as yours. It is all relative. Learn how to manage, how to communicate with those who aren’t following the rules to YOUR liking in YOUR business.
        • ADJUST FIRE!…this is not a one time thing. This is reality and we have to learn how to adjust to everything that comes our way.

        CJ Murray

        CJ Murray
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